Housewares molder Home Products International Inc. of Chicago is closing its injection molding site in El Paso, Texas, and consolidating production into an expanded site in the Windy City.
The 400,000-square-foot El Paso site will close by the end of February, HPI Chief Executive Officer Doug Ramsdale said.
``It just made customer service and economic sense to do that,'' Ramsdale said. ``Chicago is a central location. There was overlap between Chicago and El Paso.''
The El Paso site, which HPI has operated for seven years, employs 180. Ramsdale would not disclose the number of presses, but said that a significant number will move to Chicago.
HPI will expand the Chicago site, although Ramsdale did not provide details.
``All types of infrastructure are being added in terms of raw material, electrical and cooling,'' he said. ``Chicago is a modern facility, it's just a matter of adding infrastructure.''
HPI will physically expand the Chicago plant to accommodate a 45 percent increase in molding capacity. It will add 80 employees to its base of 250.
Ramsdale said that the consolidation is part of its overall restructuring, initiated last month, that also includes reducing its publicly held unsecured debt. HPI reached an agreement with holders of its high-yield bonds, who will convert their debt holdings for 95 percent of the equity in a reorganized company.
The company also will enter into an amended credit agreement with its current lenders to have additional liquidity for operations.